Uganda isn’t only famous for its big game, the rare mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, chimpanzees, birdlife and the mighty source of the Nile but also for its unexploited butterflies. Butterflies feature among the very few most stunning and attractive insect species that you should consider sighting while on your safari in Uganda. They come in the magnificent colors and can easily be identified. Uganda is indeed the pearl of Africa! For amazing butterfly encounters, the best areas to visit include Kibale Forest National Park, Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Semuliki Forest National Park, Kalinzu forest and many more. These beautiful creatures can be best spotted while on forest or nature walks. About 33 percent of Uganda is made of Afro tropical species which comprise of more than 1300 butterfly species and this excludes the sub species that make up a total of 700. The 4 distinct butterfly families that have recorded in Uganda include the 231 hesperiidae species, 99 pieridae, 31 papilionidae, 447 nymphalidae species and lycaenidae specie.
About 35 of the species are believed to be endemic to Uganda and any of them originate from Lycaenidae family and they make up 80 percent of the endemics. The notable ones include the Papilio zalmoxis hewitson, Papilio nireus Linnaeus, Papilio antimachus parva Jackson, Graphium antheus, Papilio nireus pseudo nireus felder and felder and many more. The smallest species are not larger than the fingernail and the biggest swallowtails are huger than the smallest birds. They offer aesthetic appeal and are linked to all plants and crops at all stages of their life cycle. Butterflies have average life span just like any creature on earth and it ranges from 20 to 40 days. There are few that can thrive up to 9 months. Like other insects, butterflies too lay eggs. The entire process takes the 4 stages starting with eggs, larva, pupa and then adult. The lava butterfly is called caterpillar.
These stunning creatures can only see the red, green and yellow color as they come in dark color given that they need to absorb heat from the surrounding area, they do not have any chewing mouth parts, but blessed with a tubular straw like appendage called proboscis that helps then sip nectar. They can smell with their antennae and taste using their feet and they are a few species in the world which can orient themselves both in latitude and longitude. Males attract females by releasing pheromone chemicals from their abdomen.
In conclusion, butterflies make up part of Uganda’s natural treasures. With variety of these beautiful species and habitats, we believe that you will have fantastic experience with these brightly colored species in the world. This magical destination refuges the largest number of butterflies and they have not been explored by most visitors on safari in Africa. There is a lot more that you can learn while on your butterfly exploration in the pearl of Africa that will leave a memory in your mind.